In our inaugural multi-week summer intensive for teens, the Rodgers Fellows class of 2016 put their collective brains to work, and partnered with the Sweetwater Foundation to design a pocket park. Located on the border between Englewood and Washington Park, The Sweetwater Foundation seeks to become the anchor for a forgotten neighborhood. Their motto - there grows the neighborhood - encourages the importance of an urban farming, reclaiming wasted material, and empowering communities. Through peer/professional/community collaboration and input, the Rodgers Fellows researched, sketched, argued/compromised, modeled, presented, revised, and hope to bring real change to a community in Chicago on a project that is truly their own. Their final design will actually be built, and will be exhibited as part of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Design Challenge Brief
Design a pocket park for the site on 57th and Lafayette for the Sweet Water Foundation. Your design needs to include community feedback.
In the Collect Info step of the design process, you try to gather as much information as possible about your existing school or community parks and spaces, along with the students, staff and neighbors who will use it. You can't propose new solutions until you figure out and document what the existing problems are.
In the Brainstorm Ideas step of the design process, you will develop ideas from all of the information you've collected. You will start to be inspired by new places and you put some early ideas down on paper that show what you've found in the Collect Info step. You also might take more photos to show specific new ideas you have.
You've been gathering all sorts of information, and brainstorming creative options for your pocket park. Now it's time to put all the pieces together and make some final decisions. In the Develop Solutions step, your rough ideas come together with drawings and models that can show others your solutions for a new pocket park.
The Final Design step of the design process is to create more finished drawings and models that illustrate your ideas to others. Remember, your explanation text, and the types of drawings, images, and models you share need to tell the whole story of your project to someone who may or may not have ever visited your neighborhood or pocket park site.